Nov. 4 General Election Ballot Recommendations

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California Statewide Ballot Measures

 Proposition 1—Water Bond. Funding for water, quality supply, treatment and storage projects.

Except for Shasta County, no place in California is free from having to import water. In Southern California, for instance, water must be imported from Northern California, the snow peck in the Sierra and the Colorado River to meet local water needs.

As the population in California has grown so has the need for water. The state experiences wet years and years of drought. Today we are in a period of extreme drought, and in many areas of the state, water wells have dried up due to extensive over pumping of ground water supplies, which are now severely depleted.

The state must do a better job of managing its water supply. Construction of more water facilities designed to prevent water from just flowing out to the ocean, is imperative.

The state must also make an effort to cleanse ground water that has been contaminated in the past to make it safe and useable for drinking and irrigation. California must also do more to provide water for habitats of fish, water fowl, and forests, in addition tot providing water for agriculture. A significant part of the state’s economy, hydrdo electric power plants and wildlife habitats need water.

Conservation can only go so far to meet the need for water.

Therefore, the state will need to invest in our infrastructure so that we can start to meet the water needs of the future. — Vote Yes on Prop. 1.

 

Proposition 2—State budget. Budget Stabilization Account. Legislative constitutional amendment. 

A budget stabilization fund is a rainy day account or a savings account. Just as people are advised to save for a rainy day and unforeseen emergencies, so should California.

It is even more important for a state to have one, particularly a state like California where earthquakes, forest fires, floods and an unpredictable economy that is highly dependent on income taxes, are always a concern.

Prop. 2 will require State Legislators to set aside funds to repay state debt, and to put money aside for emergencies. We think this is a good idea. —Vote Yes on Prop 2.

 

Proposition 45—Healthcare Insurance. Rate changes, initiative statute. 

This initiative requires the State Insurance Commissioner to approve rates and policy changes set by health insurance providers before they can be passed on to consumers.

It will exempt large employers, but applies to the insurance provided to all other persons or groups.

This initiative attempts to duplicate the powers the Insurance Commissioner has for regulating auto insurance rates.

oday, Californian has lower insurance rates than they did 25 years ago. The same protection is needed for small groups and single plan healthcare insurance buyers.

Concerns have been raised that giving the insurance commissioner this power will set back negotiations between the state’s new insurance commission on behalf of Covered California Health Exchange  and insurance providers, but we don’t see any reason why there cannot be cooperation between both bodies. We should remember, most Californians do not get their insurance through a Covered California plan, and they deserve to have someone looking out for them. —Vote Yes on Prop, 45.

 

Proposition 46—Drug and alcohol Testing of Doctors and Negligence Lawsuit Cap.

This initiative statute requires drug testing of doctors, which any hospital can require a doctor to do now.

It also requires the review of state data for prescribing controlled substances. This might prevent doctor shopping for controlled substances prescriptions, but this could be regulated by passing a bill in the Legislator, rather than by this initiative.

Now we get to what the measure is really about: raising the $250,000 cap on pain and suffering judgments in negligence lawsuits, which would create a substantial windfall for trial lawyers. The cap has saved Californians millions in medical costs. —Vote No on Prop. 46

 

Proposition 47—Criminal Sentences. Misdemeanors Penalties Initiative. 

This proposition, which calls for a misdemeanor sentence instead of a felony for some drug and property offenses will help to solve some of our prison and jail overcrowding issues by funding alternative solutions for people with substance abuse problems and those who have committed petty crimes.

These alternative solutions will not be available to persons with prior convictions for serious or violent crimes or registered sex offenders.

This initiative will save millions of dollars spent on incarcerating drug addicts and petty criminals and will provide for the funding of programs for school truancy, drop out prevention, mental health and substance abuse treatment.

We believe these alternative solutions are a more enlightened way to deal with people with substance abuse problems. —Vote Yes on Prop. 47

 

Proposition 48—Indian Gaming Compacts Referendum. If approved, this referendum will ratify  gaming compacts between the state and North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians and Wlyot Tribe to build a casino on land purchased for the purpose of building a casino off the site of their reservation which is too small to accommodate the new casino.

True, the tribes will make a one time payment of $16 million-$35 million and 20 annual payments of $10 millions to offset costs related to the operation of a new casino, but the payments aren’t the important issue. The fact that the tribes are too small to house a casino on their current reservations calls for a solution acceptable to all Californians who worry this compact will lead to the proliferation of tribes buying land just to house casinos. Those are valid concerns that should not be taken lightly.

We understand these compacts are already signed and the lands purchased, so we will go along with this referendum, this one time, but no other compacts of this type should be approved and signed without first holding hearings across the state on whether these types of compacts should be allowed in the future.  —With big reservations, we recommend a Yes vote on Prop. 48

 

Los Angeles County Measure

Measure P—Safe Neighborhood Parks; Gang prevention youth/senior recreation, beaches/wildlife protection are all desirable objectives, but this measure is an example of how difficult it is to sunset any funding measure once dependence on a dedicated revenue stream is built into the funding of programs—any program.

The 1996 Parks Tax will continue to fund many of the programs included in this measure for four more years. We have no bias against any of the programs included in Measure P, but we do object to how small property owners will pay the same flat per parcel fee as large wealthy property owners.

We understand why the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce is supporting Measure P, since it shifts much of the tax from their large property owners to small businesses and individual small property owners. This tax is not fair to all and the Chamber should be ashamed for supporting Measure P. —Vote No on Measure P

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